Is my chook just moulting?

Discussion in 'Breeding, Raising, Feeding and Caring for Animals' started by eco4560, May 3, 2010.

  1. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    I have a red and white hen who is just over 12 months old. She is losing feathers and looks quite forlorn. Her tail feathers are quite sad with the "fluff" broken off the shaft. She has lost sufficient feathers to be bare over her crop.
    The other 7 hens are all fine - I have seen fallen feathers of all colours of recent weeks and think they are all moulting but this particular bird seems to have taken it to extremes. She isn't either the top or the bottom of the pecking order, but I haven't seen anyone be particularly aggressive towards here.

    Should I worry - or will Rosebud once again come back into full bloom?
     
  2. purplepear

    purplepear Junior Member

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    Rosebud should be fine Eco. It is a beautiful thing if the moult can happen in stages (one chook at a time) as this gives some continuation of egg production. The loss of feathers, or more precisely the replacement, takes its toll on the chook and they need protein to build the new feathers. Giving them a feed of fish will help get them back but mostly give them time. You could start knitting her a jumper in your spare time - just in case.
    To be safe, I would do a mite inspection and just observe that there is not feather pecking happening. My Isa Browns are looking horrible at the moment but the Austrolorps are still good. The Isa Browns are notorious feather peckers and they don"t care who sees them do it. I have tried talking sternly to them but without success and now I am trying codliver oil and seaweed meal in a polard mash and giving them plenty of it.
     
  3. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    Thanks Mark. So how to give them fish? Cat food? I'm not tossing Atlantic Salmon fillets in there....
     
  4. newieboy

    newieboy Junior Member

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    My chickens are moulting to at the moment. Do they stop laying when they moult, cause they havent layed any in a while.
     
  5. purplepear

    purplepear Junior Member

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    Yeah mate let them have a rest for a while - they usually deserve it.

    Eco - I used to get some fish heads ans trimmings from the local fish shop and just chop them up a bit. It is usually amazing how they get stuck in to it.
     
  6. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    I've had the chance to pick her up and have a really good look over the weekend and there are tiny new feathers sprouting everywhere. So I feel better now.
    Wanna hear a sad story. There actually isn't a REAL fisho in my town. There's Woolworths but I doubt they prep the fish on site. And the deep frying places but I think they get theirs already battered from a freezer truck. Very sad indictment on my community.
    Mum has a real fish shop near her and is going to snap up some fish scraps and put them in the freezer for me, for the next chook crisis.
    I ran out of eggs today. I hope they start to lay again soon. Can't bear the thought of having to buy them in the shops.
     
  7. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    And yes she is an Isa Brown - I had to look it up. I just know my chooks as the black one, the white one, the brown one, and Rosebud. And the 4 silkies. Lovely things chooks. I wonder why I only discovered this a year ago????
     
  8. purplepear

    purplepear Junior Member

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    We havn't had to buy eggs yet Eco but are down to about a dozen a day - from sixty chooks that is a lot of organic grain for no result. The pay off is in the scratching and pooing and bug eating. Yes I agree that they are good to be around. Ours are not pets but still they have individuality.
     
  9. Grahame

    Grahame Senior Member

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    Some of ours are sort of pets - in that they are never allowed to be killed, eaten, or treated as anything other than royalty by decree of our 4 1/4 year old girl.

    Some of the inventive names we have given them include, Mr Black (or Blacky), Mrs Black, Miss Black, Ms Black, Mr White (Whitey), Molly Brown, Browny Brown and Baby Brown. The newer chooks (whom the daughter sees as expendable) are grouped by name as The New Blacks. We also have Ned Black and Wendy

    What fun!
     
  10. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    I wanted to have Lemon Chicken and Apricot Chicken but the 11 yr old refused to let me call them anything reminiscent of food! Ours are Misty (the white one), Abby (Gothic black - like the character in NCIS), Chocolate (what else do you call a brown chook) and of course Rosebud. The Silkies are Shadow (she's the grey one), Little Bub, Kia and Kowhai (Moari names). I used to be able to tell the last 3 apart when they were little but now they all look the same!
    Very much pets.....
     
  11. ebunny

    ebunny Junior Member

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    I agree - great additions to home life. We went with an ice cream flavour theme (no guessing what our favourite food is). So we have Chocolate, Mango, Caramel and Berry (we lost Rocky Road sadly)
     
  12. Terra

    Terra Moderator

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    If you want to add fish to your chooks diet you could try fish meal , similiar to meatmeal used in pig rations available through supply stores for piggeries also fish meal is very popular with commercial rose growers . Dry granulated so stores pretty easy . A lot of wheat just doesnt have enough protien and needs supplementing fish meal usually has a higher percentage than meatmeal either is ideal , if you dont have sufficient scraps / greens ect.
    Rob
     
  13. Mungbeans

    Mungbeans Junior Member

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    All seven of our Lohman Browns have been off the lay now for three months after their moult. Are they likely to start laying again? The feed is expensive, even allowing for their own foraging. Its hard to justify their continued existence at this rate.
     
  14. purplepear

    purplepear Junior Member

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    Great to hear from you mungbeans, they do try our patience. We think ours will be back on soon as they are feathering up well at the moment but I guess the cost of the eggs needs to reflect the down time to cover production year round. I think all our food is too cheap but then I am a supplier and would I guess.
     
  15. sun burn

    sun burn Junior Member

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    https://www.dpi.qld.gov.au/27_2709.htm

    Mungbeans, please the information on this link. Its all about moulting. Its from the department of primary industries in Australia. Its very informative. I was glad to read it myself as I didn't know that chickens moult and intend getting some. I probably would have assumed that they had lice or something.
     
  16. Don Hansford

    Don Hansford Junior Member

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    What a great resource!
    I especially like the reference to culling the ones with the shiniest feathers :) Sounds like something we should look at for the human population as well :D
     
  17. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    I'm very pleased - my daggy looking chooks turn out to be better layers! Rosebud is looking pretty again, but not yet laying. All her dome mates have started to moult (the run is awash with soft fluffy feathers!) as well, so I'm buying eggs. :-(
     
  18. Mungbeans

    Mungbeans Junior Member

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    Thanks for the link. So it looks like I might have to wait until July before I have eggs on toast again! The chickens have feathered up well now, and are looking particularly sleek, so hopefully it won't be long now.
     
  19. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    My ugly chook now looks very nice - even better than before if that is possible, as do her room mates that have all finished moulting. And they are starting to lay again. 4 eggs today (from 8 birds) - the most in 3 months almost! I couldn't find fish meal but the bloke at the rural supplies place sold me meat meal. I hate to think what is in it.... They've been getting a 1/2 a cup full mixed with their grain into their feed dispenser each day.
     
  20. Kazie

    Kazie New Member

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    Hi Guys! its interesting the fish feed advice..i think i will give that a go! I got my 7 chooks in March..2 australorps, 3 rhode is reds & 2 leghorns. 1 of the australorps is still looking really scruffy & i dont hink she is being picked on either. There are some new feathers but she is mostly bald around her butt region..its not a good look! Their names; Napolean(i have a french house mate), Achun, Rosie, Aretha, Lotti, Dorothy & Dorine..great little characters, love them all!
    Anyway thanks for the advice.
     

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